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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Matters come to a Head in Syria's Three-sided Conflict

On background, last week Reuters ran this news item:
Al Qaeda kills Free Syrian Army commander: FSA spokesman

BEIRUT | Thu Jul 11, 2013 4:52pm EDT
Militants linked to al Qaeda in Syria killed a senior figure in the Western- and Arab-backed Free Syrian army on Thursday, an FSA source said, signaling a widening rift between Islamists and more moderate elements in the armed Syrian opposition.

Kamal Hamami, a member of the Free Syrian Army's Supreme Military Council, known by his nom de guerre Abu Bassel al-Ladkani, was meeting with members of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in the port city of Latakia when they killed him, Qassem Saadeddine, a Free Syrian Army spokesman, told Reuters.

"The Islamic State phoned me saying that they killed Abu Bassel and that they will kill all of the Supreme Military Council," Saadeddine said from Syria. More...
Unfortunately, it appears that matters may have to be settled between the revolutionaries and the jhadists before Assad is overthrown. Open warfare between the two opposition camps is likely to break out now.

Isn't this the way it aways is with Revolutions? The struggle against the state always has its reflection in the struggle within the opposition. The critical question is: How do these contradictions play out in the given revolution?

This blog is to present these thoughts from Darth Nader's Facebook page, which I received via email, because I think they bring a lot of clarity to our understanding of the Syrian conflict and are therefore worth passing on:
It can no longer be denied that there are now three sides that are fighting in Syria:

1) A national resistance conducting an armed struggle as well as peaceful protests against a dictator.
2) Sunni "jihadists" conducting an armed struggle against the "Alawite regime."
3) The regime + Hezbollah + other Shia "jihadists."

This week, group #2 killed one of the leaders of group #1. Group #2 has also been imprisoning many people from group #1 in the areas that group #2 controls. We used to chant for Syrians to be freed from regime prisons, now we cheer for them to be freed from regime prisons and the prisons of the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham. And group #1 has gone all out in protesting against group #2 this week.

Given these divisions, and given these facts, anyone who conflates group #1 and group #2 as "the rebels" is either ignorant of what's happening in Syria, or being disingenuous. Those who take the terrible things group #2 does and say things like "These are the Syrian 'democrats' who want 'freedom,'" purposely lump in group #1 with group #2 because they are interested in defending group #3 as the only alternative to the heinousness of group #2.

Click here for a list of my other blogs on Syria

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